27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 The Great Lifespan Escape

At the time when the lines begin, in the mid-18th century, life expectancy in Europe and the Americas was around 35, where it had been parked for the 225 previous years for which we have data.3 Life expectancy for the world as a whole was 29. These numbers are in the range of expected life spans for most of human history. The life expectancy of hunter-gatherers is around 32.5, and it probably decreased among the peoples who first took up farming because of their starchy diet and the diseases ...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 American and French Revolutions Led to Different Results

...the structure of a network determines its virality. As recent work by the social scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler has shown, the contagiousness of a disease or an idea depends as much on a social network’s structure as on the inherent properties of the virus or meme. The history of the late eighteenth century illustrates that point well. The ideas that inspired both the American Revolution and the French Revolution were essentially the same, and both were transmitted throu...
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
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29 NOV 2016 by ideonexus

 Earthseed 46-50

46. Do not worship God Do not worship God Inexorable GodNeither needs nor wantsYour worship.Instead,Acknowledge and attend God,Learn from God,With forethought and intelligence,Imagination and industry,Shape God.When you must,Yield to God.Adapt and endure.For you are Earthseed,And God is Change. ∞ = Δ 47. Unenlightened Self-Interest Beware:At warOr at peace,More people dieOf unenlightened self-interestThan of any other disease. ∞ = Δ 48. Hidden within Change God is ChangeAnd hidden with...
Folksonomies: religion earthseed
Folksonomies: religion earthseed
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19 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Vaccines as a Positive Externality

A science-based example of a positive externality is vaccinations. Vaccinations work based on the number of people in the population who are vaccinated. Once a certain threshold is reached, the disease can't spread effectively and is essentially eliminated. As long as enough people are vaccinated, others who choose not to be still get to enjoy that positive externality at no cost. These are what economists call freeloaders. Economists like the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have the...
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People who don't get vaccines benefit from those who do because of the lower rates of disease.

12 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Curiosity is More Important Than Doing Good

The value the world sets upon motives is often grossly unjust and inaccurate. Consider, for example, two of them: mere insatiable curiosity and the desire to do good. The latter is put high above the former, and yet it is the former that moves some of the greatest men the human race has yet produced: the scientific investigators. What animates a great pathologist? Is it the desire to cure disease, to save life? Surely not, save perhaps as an afterthought. He is too intelligent, deep down in h...
Folksonomies: virtue curiosity
Folksonomies: virtue curiosity
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More good has been done through curiosity.

04 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Metaphor for the Spread of Disease

To choose a rough example, think of a thorn which has stuck in a finger and produces an inflammation and suppuration. Should the thorn be discharged with the pus, then the finger of another individual may be pricked with it, and the disease may be produced a second time. In this case it would not be the disease, not even its product, that would be transmitted by the thorn, but rather the stimulus which engendered it. Now supposing that the thorn is capable of multiplying in the sick body, or ...
Folksonomies: metaphor
Folksonomies: metaphor
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Like spreading thorns.

04 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Words are Money of Fools, but Nature Does Not Lie

For between true Science, and erroneous Doctrines, Ignorance is in the middle. Naturall sense and imagination, are not subject to absurdity. Nature it selfe cannot erre: and as men abound in copiousnesses of language; so they become more wise, or more mad than ordinary. Nor is it possible without Letters for any man to become either excellently wise, or (unless his memory be hurt by disease, or ill constitution of organs) excellently foolish. For words are wise men's counters, they do but rec...
Folksonomies: history science
Folksonomies: history science
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Famous quote.

14 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 A Early Definition of Human Social Progress

Disease is largely a removable evil. It continues to afflict humanity, not only because of incomplete knowledge of its causes and lack of individual and public hygiene, but also because it is extensively fostered by harsh economic and industrial conditions and by wretched housing in congested communities. ... The reduction of the death rate is the principal statistical expression and index of human social progress. It means the saving and lengthening of lives of thousands of citizens, the ext...
Folksonomies: medical lifespan quality
Folksonomies: medical lifespan quality
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That emphasizes a reduction in the death rate and argues that this is something we can do through education and improving the quality of life.

21 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Humans Should be Proud

Evolution is neither moral nor immoral. It just is, and we make of it what we will. I have tried to show that two things we can make of it are that it’s simple and it’s marvelous. And far from constricting our actions, the study of evolution can liberate our minds. Human beings may be only one small twig on the vast branching tree of evolution, but we’re a very special animal. As natural selection forged our brains, it opened up for us whole new worlds. We have learned how to improve ou...
Folksonomies: evolution wonder vision
Folksonomies: evolution wonder vision
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We are the one species of 3.5 billion years of evolution that has figured out how we got here.

03 MAR 2011 by ideonexus

 By the Toll of a Billion Deaths Have Humans Earned our Ri...

These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things–taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here. But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many–those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance–our living frames are altogether immune… By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all c...
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In H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds" the Martians are killed by bacteria on Earth, we are immune to these bacteria from billions of years of evolution. We own the Earth having spent the blood of billions of lives to evolve into it.